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Ned Breslin Isn't Afraid to Expose his Shortcomings

The CEO of Tennyson Center for Children (and CEO of the Year finalist) gets support for his honesty


At the Tennyson Center for Children, exceptional leadership is informed by a special kind of compassion. When Ned Breslin was a child, his father took out an ad in the newspaper, asking if anybody wanted his son. A couple responded, and Breslin was unloaded on his "new family," watching from their front porch as his dad drove away. This incident was one of many in a disrupted, often violent childhood of a boy whom adults discounted as a troublemaker.

When Breslin joined TCC as president and CEO in 2016, everything came "full circle," he recalls. Driven by personal passion, Breslin guides his staff of 200 with the underlying ambition of reintegrating children back into safe families and supportive schools. 

TCC offers a full lineup of services tackling a spectrum of issues, and Breslin says, "We don't accept the outcomes that are common in our sector."

From reducing wait times for families in crisis, to growing TFCC's fundraising capacity, Breslin and his team strive to deliver better programming to more than 10,000 Colorado children who are living in situations of abuse or neglect.

Unlike other leaders, Breslin isn't afraid to expose his shortcomings.

"Some nonprofits bury their unfavorable data," Breslin says. He publishes it. "If you put the data out – even the unfavorable data – people are drawn to you." Over time, he says, "We've gotten more support for our honesty."

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Jamie Siebrase

Jamie Siebrase is a freelance writer based in Colorado.

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